Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Meet Margaret Fieland
This month we have with us a multi-talented person, Margaret Fieland!
Margaret is a computer engineer, a musician, a poet and a writer.
Enjoy her interview!
Tell us about yourself first.
I'm a native New Yorker, born and raised in Manhattan, though I've lived in the Boston area since June of 1978, just after the big blizzard. I live with my partner and our seven dogs in the suburbs west of Boston. I play the flute and the piccolo, write primarily poetry and children's stories, and earn my living as a computer software engineer.
When did you start writing?
I started writing poetry as a teen, then continued on, writing poetry for friends, family, and significant others for pretty much any occasion I could think of. I enjoyed (and still do) rhyming, and developed my own algorithm for generating rhymes. I make frequent use of my thesaurus when writing, but rarely resort to rhyming dictionaries.
What genres have you written?
Poetry, nonfiction articles, children's stories, one or two stories for adults, technical documentation .. pretty much everything, though my first love is poetry, and now writing for children.
Is The Angry Little Boy your first book?
My book, "The Angry Little Boy," is unpublished as of now.
Tell us about your book. What is it about?
It's about a little boy who loses his mother in a fire, and he and his father go to live with his grandmother.
What inspired you to write this book?
Many years ago now, a close friend lost his wife and four children in a fire. He was pretty much of a mess after that, and while there was nothing I could do to change the real, horrible, outcome for him, I could and did decide that I would write a story where the father and the child survived. I didn't want any dead siblings, so my main character is an only child.
How long did it take you to write it?
The first draft was 5000 words and I wrote it in a weekend. It's been over a year since I wrote that first draft. This is probably the third major revision.
Who is the publisher of your book?
Where is it on sale?
It's not -- yet.
Tell us about your other books/work.
I have a collection of poems about mathematics that I've started sending around seeking publication, and I'm most of the way through the first draft of my second novel, also for children.
What are the major challenges that you have faced in your career?
As a writer? Taking myself seriously, and making finding time for my writing a priority.
Has the Internet helped you in your writing career?
In several ways. I started writing for publication because of the internet. As a computer professional, one who's had to deal with lost data in my professional life I'm paranoid about losing documents, so I keep copies of my work online, currently in Google documents, which I love.
Several years ago, when I first started keeping my stuff online, I was home alone over Christmas vacation.. All the rest of the family was out, and I was reading a favorite ezine, when I noticed it had a poetry contest and that I had a poem which fit the parameters of the contest. I submitted it, and it was one of four finalists. It didn't win, but I was tremendously encouraged, and started working on my poetry. I joined a couple of websites with poetry forums. In one of them I learned about the Muse online writers conference. I joined another forum as a result of the conference, and started writing fiction.
What do you advise new writers to do?
Write, write, write. And keep backups of your documents, and keep them somewhere it's easy for you to get at them. I can't emphasize enough the benefits of being able to get your hands on your work, and to be able to look back over it. When I was scribbling in notebooks, I never reread my work, in large part because my handwriting is so awful even I have a hard time rereading it.
blog and website: http://www.margaretfieland.com
More about Margaret on the 3rd of this month.
Thanks for visiting!